Today, the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) filed a letter with the FCC, urging the Commission to support the activation of FM chips, a move that will enhance the ability of broadcasters to distribute lifesaving emergency alert notifications in the event of natural and man-made emergencies. The full text of the letter is below.
Consistent with our advocacy to ensure that all Americans have access to emergency broadcasts regardless of the breadth of a national emergency, the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) urges the FCC to support the activation of FM chips.
Most smartphones already have FM chips built into the device. However, some wireless operators have chosen not to activate them and extend free, over-the-air radio to wireless audiences.
MMTC is supportive of this effort because it enhances the ability of broadcasters to distribute lifesaving, emergency alert notifications before, during and after natural and man-made emergencies.
Hurricane Katrina was a national demonstration of what not to do in an emergency. When cellular service was interrupted, families were disconnected from other family members. Residents lost touch with neighbors and essentially found themselves without critical information to direct them to shelter, food and government services. The FM chip would have added a layer of security for consumers, first responders and other stakeholders interested in the timely distribution of emergency response data. [click to continue…]